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Category Archives: Success stories

Kiplinger Program director will lead Investigative Reporters and Editors


Kiplinger Program director Doug Haddix has been named executive director of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Haddix, who has led the Kiplinger Program for five years, will leave his position Oct. 21 and take the helm at IRE on Oct. 24.

“I’m proud of our Kiplinger team and how we dramatically expanded the reach of our training,” Haddix said. In recent years, Kiplinger Program digital training has helped 1,800 journalists, students and professors annually at national journalism conferences, regional workshops, its flagship fellowship program and other events.

“I’m thrilled and honored to lead IRE during such a pivotal time in our news industry and society as a whole,” Haddix said. “The need for high-impact watchdog reporting has never been greater. IRE is positioned well to strengthen its global role in training and equipping journalists with the knowledge, strategy and tools to hold those in power accountable for their actions.”

IRE, based at the University of Missouri, represents more than 5,500 journalists across the United States and around the world. The nonprofit membership organization was formed in 1975 to improve the quality of investigative journalism.

“The entire IRE Board of Directors is excited to name Doug Haddix as executive director,” board president Matt Goldberg said. “His management skills and extensive experience in journalism, training, education and fundraising are the perfect fit to lead IRE into the future.”

Before joining the Kiplinger Program, Haddix worked for three years as an IRE national training director. Previously, he worked for 10 years as projects editor at The Columbus Dispatch and as city editor of The Scranton Times in Pennsylvania and The Commercial-News in Danville, Illinois. As a reporter, he worked for United Press International in Indianapolis and for the Springfield News-Sun in Ohio.

Haddix earned a master’s degree in journalism at Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and political science from Miami University (Ohio).


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Former Kiplinger Fellow Lynn Walsh takes SPJ reins, talks journalism’s challenges

Kiplinger Fellowship alumna Lynn Walsh will assume the leadership role of the nation’s largest journalism organization when she is sworn in as president of the Society of Professional Journalists on Sept. 20.

A 2014 Fellow, she is an executive producer for the investigative unit at KNSD NBC 7 in San Diego. Walsh has won state and local awards as well as multiple Emmys. She is also the producer of the Lynn Walsh Daily, an aggregated news website.

Kiplinger alumna and SPJ incoming president Lynn Walsh The Ohio State University Photo by Kevin Fitzsimons

In her leadership role with SPJ, Walsh will be asked to set the tone for an organization with 8,000 professional and student members during a time of business uncertainty for the news media.

We asked her to give us some insight into how she envisions her year in office.

What do you believe to be the greatest challenges facing journalism today and what, in your future capacity, can you do to help address those?

The constantly changing landscape of the flow of information. I think social media and the web have made our jobs easier and more exciting but also harder and more confusing. News is not just produced in newsrooms any longer, it’s happening instantaneously all around us. I think this is a great for the public, but it means we need to adapt the way we produce news.

As a leader in SPJ, I think this expands our role and responsibility to think of programs and ways to reach people that may not consider themselves journalists. It means educating the public about journalistic ethics, the impact publishing content online can have, and the resources and information available to them through public information laws.

You’re in a traditional media – television. How significantly has it changed to meet modern consumer demands?

The format of TV news has not changed much but HOW it is viewed and the priorities of journalists inside TV newsrooms has changed and continues to change. The Investigative unit I oversee at NBC in San Diego will publish and produce online-only investigative stories. That was not happening at the station before, but now it happens often. We also will publish our investigative video stories online before they air. I see TV stations trying all sorts of new storytelling techniques, especially with social media. Now, is it happening as quickly as some, including myself, would like it, not all the time. You are going to continue to see TV news change to meet the online demands of the public, and I think you will see it happen even more quickly in the next couple of years than it did during the last five.

If professional journalists are still needed 10 years from now, what do you see as their roles?

I do not think the question is “if” — they will be. Look, I love that any individual with access to the internet can have just as much influence with a tweet or YouTube video as an article in the New York Times. This is good for journalism, and it is good for democracy and the world. BUT, there will still be a place for professional and ethical journalism. Think about breaking news situations. There is so much information coming in so quickly on the internet during a big breaking news event, how does a member of the public sort through that? They turn to those journalists and professionals they trust. That has been the role of a journalist and always will be. To ethically, fairly and accurately report information to the public. As journalists, we have to remember this and be careful not to get pulled in to being first and inaccurate.

Now that you’ve reached a position of leadership, what’s the best advice you can share with younger journalists coming up should they want to follow your lead and become journalism leaders?

Pursue what you love, and don’t be afraid to take risks. Yes, there are processes in place, and you should be respectful of those, but it doesn’t mean you are stuck to them. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas with people who may be in positions above yours. If you have a good idea, want to help and are skilled at what you do, people are normally more than willing to listen and let you lead the way.

Did the Kiplinger Fellowship influence you in any way?

The Kiplinger Fellowship, and others like it, are a great way to further your career. It’s always important to continue to learn the newest tools and tricks, and when you are doing that throughout your career with other journalists, it’s a win-win. It is a great networking opportunity and it’s fun.

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Kiplinger website wins Ohio SPJ awards


The Kiplinger Program’s website won two first-place prizes and a second-place finish in awards announced today by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The website took top honors for Specialized Journalism Site and for Best Overall Blog (Independent). A second-place prize went to Kiplinger Program deputy director Kevin Z. Smith for Best Blog Post (Independent) for “Reporting can come with a price in Pakistan.

The Ohio’s Best Journalism Contest was sponsored by SPJ chapters in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus. The Long Island Press Club of New York judged the competition. All winners in all categories are posted online.

The Kiplinger Program’s website, designed by Origo Branding of Columbus, debuted its new look and mobile-friendly features in September 2014.


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Eastern European journalists explore Columbus news media

Erkinbek Kamalov of Kyrgyzstan, left, and Artur Zahharov of Estonia with a bust of E.W. Scripps

Two visiting journalists from Eastern Europe found common bonds and challenges during a 12-day stay in Columbus that featured time in several newsrooms.

The Kiplinger Program recently hosted the journalists from Estonia and Kyrgyzstan as part of a U.S. State Department program, working with Washington, D.C.-based World Learning. The journalists are part of a new Eastern European association called Digicomnet (Digital Communication Network).

More than 20 journalists came to the Unites States for a month, and two asked for placement in Columbus for the last 12 days of their tour. Kiplinger sponsored Artur Zahharov, a public television producer in Estonia and freelance multimedia journalist for Estonian newspapers, and Erkinbek Kamalov, a senior journalist with the Jalabat Journalists’ Association in Kyrgyzstan.

While in Columbus, the two spent time shadowing journalists at the Columbus Dispatch, WSYX-ABC 6 and WOSU public television; visited the journalism program at Ohio State University; attended a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; and stopped over at the  E.W. Scripps School of Journalism in Athens, Ohio. Before arriving in Columbus, they spent time in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Austin, Texas.


Artur Zahharov of Estonia (left) talks with WOSU’s Mike Thompson prior to the station’s filming of Columbus on the Record.

Here are excerpts from an interview with Artur and Erkinbek on their last day in Columbus, before returning home.

Q. What are your impressions of American journalism?

Artur: Like in Estonia, there is a big challenge between profits or journalism. I believe all the journalists who are doing their jobs here are in a difficult position. For instance, the Columbus Dispatch example is one, not the best, but it shows how things are developing to make money over journalism.

With ABC 6, they produce very short stories. In Estonia, we have the same procedures but they are doing it more exciting, and the way they find topics and search for stories is great. It’s very different than in my country because here they don’t mind the search for the sources, on the streets and knocking on doors. Those guys are really amazing.

I think that it’s a good thing to study and it can be useful. An example, our guys are on our jobs in Estonia and then they are at home. They work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then they go home. And here, you guys work until the work is done, there is no stopping at 5 o’clock and going home. I don’t’ know, it’s probably the American culture.

Erkinbek: American journalism has, I think, more freedom to do journalism and it’s a competitive environment, much more competitive environment than in my country. And, here not only are they professional and creative but it makes a competitive sense. The pace or speed of delivery of the information is very important, and it does not underestimate the content. Here, I understood journalism still brings good results. But, also the constant evolving (of journalism). I asked this question of American journalists and they don’t know yet. It’s not clear for them yet. Where is the future? Where are they going to be? No one can say if it’s going to be this way or that way. No one knows the destination or how it will or what form it will evolve, and I think (journalism) is constantly searching for itself, in constant pursuit of itself.


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Pete Rose scandal coverage benefits from Kiplinger digital training

The Cincinnati Enquirer in March published a three-part series on Pete Rose, immediately after Major League Baseball’s new commissioner Rob Manfred announced he would reexamine the lifetime ban on Rose for betting on baseball. Kiplinger Fellow James Pilcher wrote two of those stories, including an exclusive interview with the man who investigated Rose for betting in the 1980s. He outlines for the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism how he got the story, as well as how his training at Ohio State helped push this story to new heights.

By James Pilcher – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Say what you will about Pete Rose, but the man and his ongoing battles with baseball’s top officials are ALWAYS news in Cincinnati.

After all, the so-called Hit King — who actually does have the most hits of any major league player in history — was born and grew up on the west side of the city. He played most of his storied career for the Cincinnati Reds, winning two World Series with the “Big Red Machine.”

Later he came back to town to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record here at home, only to receive a lifetime ban later for betting on baseball.

So when Major League Baseball’s new commissioner Rob Manfred said he would reconsider Rose’s ban and even possibly meet with Rose to discuss it, we knew we had to own the story.

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